Winning in Reno, or Beyond Gambling by Emma Krasov

Photography by Emma Krasov

I’m not a quiet type. Romantic getaways rather bore me. Usually, after a day/night of gazing into my beloved’s eyes I crave something loud, and a crowd. But I’m not a gambler, either. On my recent trip to Reno, Nevada, I discovered a perfect balance between being in a lively exciting place and having a restful and even educational getaway. Let’s start with restful. Upon check-in at the Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa I had to check out the intriguing-sounding brine inhalation lounge at the Spa Atlantis. A wall of brine in a soothingly darkish room was awashed with mysterious light, gradually changing color, and emitted a faint oceanic smell. The Spa is sparking-new, beautiful to behold, and offers all kinds of relaxation services from herbal steam and sauna to great massages.
Next morning it was time to get some education on a historic side of “The Biggest Little City in the World,” so I joined a walking tour in downtown Reno. Architecturally, Reno looks rather stately and imposing, while maintaining a clean and friendly feel.
The Washoe County Courthouse, built in Classical Revival style, was designed by the most important Nevada architect, Frederic DeLongchamps in 1911. It stands today – Justice incarnated, fully in operation, and adding to the grandeur of Riverwalk – a new district in the city center. A plethora of art, craft, music, theatre and culinary outdoor events happen here.

The Truckee River Whitewater Park is a gorgeous renovated preserve, with snowy mountains in the backdrop, beautiful mansions on surrounding hills, and forested riverbanks clad in natural stone. Running from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake, Truckee River, at this location, is not just a body of water to admire from a beautiful Virginia Street bridge. The legend has it that divorced women coming to this spot after the proceeding from the courthouse used to throw their wedding rings from this bridge.
Today, adventurous city dwellers make better use of the troubled waters with inflatable rafts, kayaks, and canoes to navigate the rapids, rated Class 2 and 3.

To get fully to the wild side of old Nevada, I took a ride on a restored steam engine to the historic Virginia City and Carson City – nicely preserved for tourist consumption, but vital enough to fill out every single watering hole and every souvenir shop in the area. While on the railroad, complete with a staff of Gold Rush era-costumed guides, I glanced out the train car window, and saw a family of wild horses, peacefully grazing one moment, and galloping away the next.

By the end of my short visit to Reno, I rushed to The Nevada Museum of Art not to miss an exhibition of a remarkable Columbian artist “The Baroque World of Fernando Botero,” showing about 100 paintings and sculptures from his own collection. Modernly and functionally designed, the Museum, besides its 2,000 artwork-strong permanent collection displays international artists of great significance.
Another great attraction of Reno is its booming culinary scene that does not stop at the casinos. Atlantis Resort boasts fine dining at its new Bistro Napa, featuring fresh bivalves from Penn Cove Mussel Farm among other delights; new Atlantis Steakhouse, and a number of other great restaurants on premises, for every taste and whim. At Circus Circus Reno you can indulge in delicious sliders with slow smoked gourmet beef brisket. Silver Legacy is good for delicate crab cakes, and I won’t soon forget the Eldorado signature mushroom ravioli. To learn more about the delights of Reno, Nevada, “Far From Expected,”